Deputy Minister for Gender and Acting Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Alice Johnson-Howard signs for the equipment and supplies as UNFPA Representative Dr. BannetNdyanabangi looks on.
Spotlight Initiative, through UNFPA, has provided deployment kits for 105 Mental Health Clinicians and Social Workers through the Mental Health and Psychosocial (MHPSS) Pillar under the supervision of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in Liberia.
The initiative is part of efforts to support the mental health and psychosocial needs of COVID-19 survivors, affected communities as well as survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. The deployment kits include rain gears, nose masks, hand sanitizers, and visibility jackets, among others.
According to a press release, UNFPA also presented a Backup Server and accessories to the Gender Based Violence Incident Management System to enhance GBV data collection, analysis and dissemination besides the kits.
The Mental Health Clinicians and Social Workers were recently trained in collaboration with UNICEF, the Carter Center and the Ministry of Health.
Speaking on Monday, 28 September, at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town when he handed the items over to Madam Alice Johnson-Howard, Deputy Minister for Gender and Acting Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, UNFPA Representative Dr. BannetNdyanabangi said the Spotlight Initiative would continue to support all interventions geared at reduction of the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices and increase in women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
In response, the Deputy Minister for Gender and Acting Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, lauded the EU-funded Spotlight Initiative and the United Nations for supporting the Government’s efforts to tackle violence against women and girls and ensure women’s quality access to sexual and reproductive health services especially during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to the training and provision of deployment kits to the 105 Mental Health Clinicians and Social Workers, the Spotlight Initiative is also providing transportation allowance and recharge cards to the 105 MHPSS service providers involved with the response in the five Spotlight counties.
Since the discovery of the first COVID-19 positive case in Liberia, the Spotlight Initiative through the UN has stepped up efforts to ensure that its support toward the reduction in the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices and increase women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Liberia remains on track.
Key among these efforts is the support to UNFPA for the establishment of a fully equipped maternal and child care unit and an operating theater at the main COVID-19 treatment unit at the 14 Military Hospital to provide antenatal care, delivery, emergency obstetric care, and postnatal care services for pregnant COVID-19 infected women admitted at the center.
Additionally, the Spotlight Initiative supported the deployment of a roving maternity team to provide care for quarantine pregnant women at Points-of-Cares (POCs), and within the communities. The roving team consisted of trained midwives under the supervision of the Family Health Division at the Ministry of Health.
The Spotlight Initiative is an EU–UN global partnership to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. It was launched in June 2019 by the Government of Liberia, European Union, Civil Society Organizations and the United Nations in Liberia.
The programme aims to, through priority interventions, prevent and respond to sexual gender based violence, sexual reproductive health and rights and harmful practices against women and girls by addressing structural causes across six key pillars of legislative and policy framework; institutional strengthening; changing norms and behaviors; delivery of essential services; management of data and strengthening women’s movements and civil society organizations. Press Release